Report from America: Globalization Hits South Carolina

By March 25, 2006Report from America

Report from AmericaYesterday the blogger-in-chief was in Kiawah Island, South Carolina at The Sanctuary — a pretty stinkin’ nice place, by the way — to meet with the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA). This is a good group of mostly NAM-member companies (and a few who aren’t, but should be — you know who you are…), who are very bullish on manufacturing in a place that has become a major manufacturing state.

There is no doubt that the textile industry has been hard-hit in South Carolina, but the state really is a microcosm for manufacturing in America writ large. What has happened is that the lost textile jobs have been supplanted by jobs in other sectors. In the room were such mammoth manufacturers as Michelin and BMW. Together they are employing thousands of workers in well-paid jobs in South Carolina. According to the Organization for International Investment, some 123,000 South Carolinians are employers by “foreign-owned” firms,a number that increased almost 10% in the past five years alone.

So thanks to the SCMA for the incite and their hospitality. I was followed by Sen. Jim DeMint, an ally of manufacturing. Also, Gov. Sanford was on the program alter in the weekend. He’s worked hard to create a climate there that allows manufacturing to prosper. (Wonder where your state rates in competitiveness and business climate? Get a Competitiveness Redbook). The other Senator from South Carolina is in China trying to get the Chinese to revalue their currency. More on that later.

Looks like globalization has hit South Carolina like it’s hit Indiana and Georgia and so many other states. At the end of the day– like the country as a whole — they’re better off for it.